57 were dead and more than 60 wounded in a Syrian Catholic Church in Baghdad during Sunday Mass.
According to a National Catholic Reporter newspaper writer, John L. Allen, Jr., a radical Islamist Web site noted that Our Lady of Salvation Church was targeted as a "dirty den of idolatry."
"All the churches and Christian organizations and their leaders are a legitimate target for the mujahedeen," the site said.
What is the state of Catholic/Muslim relations now?
There's been a shift, for sure, from Judaism to Islam, as the focus of dialog now.
What is driving that shift includes 2.3 billion Christians in the world and 1.6 billion Muslims, along with 9/11, Pope Benedict XVI's 2006 speech linking violence and Muhammad, it seemed, and demographic changes in Catholicity from the West to the Southern Hemisphere with a new generation of leaders from Africa, Asia and Latin American, for whom relations with Islam are a priority.
Consequently, common ground issues should be addressed on the right to life, people in financial and family crisis, poverty, and religion's place in the public square, to mention a few.
We see the urgency for the need for dialog with Islam from the Catholics murdered at Mass all the way to metropolitan Detroit, MI.
Imams and advocates of Islam want to live in peace like the rest of us.
We all can rise together and work toward a tranquil world.
The people who witnessed the murdered Catholics at Masss will tell us how this needs to be a priority.
The All Faiths Festival (AFF) founded in 2008 aims to do just that - to build bridges among people of all faith traditions, and, to join hearts, hands and minds on common problems that we can solve together.
It is time for all people of faith to stand in solidarity to work for peace.
An interfaith dinner, Sunday, Dec. 12th in Hope Lutheran Church, 32400 Hoover, in Warren, MI., at 4 pm will bring together the children of Abraham, including Lutheran Iraqii Pastor Hanna Sullaka, and, myself, hosting the dialog at this free dinner.
Please join us and make reservations at Pastor_Sullaka@yahoo.com, 313 719 5522, or call me at 586 777 9116.